About this Show

Washington Journal

News/Business. Journalists and policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.

NETWORK

DURATION
03:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 100 (651 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Washington 39, Us 25, Rick Schmitt 15, Florida 11, Iowa 10, Fbi 9, South Carolina 7, New Hampshire 7, America 6, Jon Huntsman 5, Ohio 5, Katrina 4, Clinton 4, Fema 4, Baltimore 4, Obama 4, Kenneth Vogel 4, Ron Paul 3, Michele Bachmann 3, Timothy Geithner 3,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Journalists and  
   policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.  

    July 5, 2011
    7:00 - 10:00am EDT  

7:00am
on the criminal background checks system used for farm purposes. we will speak with rick schmitt. later, paul light talks about a recent report examining the efficiency, accountability, and productivity challenges facing the federal government. the federal government. ♪ ♪ host: house and senate members are back on the hill this week, under the dome. in "washington times," the right about the close to talks under the headline "public does not have a place at the table." we want to find out from you -- what is the role of the public
7:01am
eye and that negotiations? that is the first conversation this morning for the first 45 minutes. give us a call, for republicans, 202-624-1115. for republicans, 202-737-0001. for independents, 202-624-0760. if you called us in the last 30 days, today would be the day to get in touch with us electronically. send us an e-mail. journal@c-span.org. if you are on twitter, you can follow was at twitter.com/c- spanwj. you can get involved in the discussion on the public role in that negotiation. this is the story from "the washington times."
7:02am
7:03am
host: we want to find out from you, what is the role of the public in debt negotiations? for democrats, 202-624-1111. for republicans, 202-737-0001. for independents, 202-624-0760. the article goes on to say -- "senator jeff sessions of alabama said wednesday on cnn that this is really wrong and i
7:04am
object to it." rya host: so, we want your thoughts on the public's role in that
7:05am
negotiations. new hampshire, jonathan. turn down your television. that way we will not get the feedback. caller: i had a couple of comments. my concern, and i guess the concern of many people, is that many people overall have not been included in the conversation. speaking for myself, until i get some research, i was under the assumption that these were the only ones to increase spending as opposed to paying off old debts that were already incurred. speaking for myself and my state, that is what our belief is.
7:06am
i do not think that we can make a rational decision or support our politicians without communicating with citizens like myself. host: have you taken the time to express to your representatives and senators what you would like to see done with the debt ceiling? caller: yes, i have. i have explained to him the lack of communication and what this is all about, as opposed to the political rhetoric. host: did you get any kind of response? caller: i did not. caller: i did not. and host: jennifer, and you are on the "washington journal." caller: i have been in the hospital, so you might have to
7:07am
ignore me for a few minutes, but i do not believe that we are being told the situation as a country exactly at this point. country exactly at this point. they are trying to do everything behind closed doors and they have a right to know about the spending or not spending that they are planning. host: what is it that you think you are missing out on? caller: they are keeping the cup -- the public misinformed. host: have you made any attempts to contact your representative or senator? caller: yes, and i had very positive feedback. host: who did to contact? caller: one of them was ben braddock.
7:08am
he has been a definite supporter public libraries. host: let's move on to portsmouth, new hampshire. anne, what is the role of the public eye and that negotiations? caller: we need to be more informed and more local. i firmly believe that there is a class war involved. people need to come out and speak. every time i hear the phrase -- the american people want, no one has ever asked me what i want. time to start speaking out and getting rid of people that are making the wrong decisions, putting people in that have america's interests at heart. the people matter. it is not just the top 1%. i see it everywhere.
7:09am
i was middle class but i do not consider myself that high up any more. i speak out everywhere. the phone calls do not do much good. as we see, there are no negotiations going on. it is my way or the highway. host: do you think that the performance of your representatives and senators with the negotiations, will that happen when you go to the polls in 2012? caller: absolutely. i do not believe in straight in -- straight republican or straight democrat. i'm an independent. i know other people will do the same. stop voting for your party when they are not speaking the truth. host: more from the article --
7:10am
hopper "id is not appear
7:11am
host: back to the phones. mount vernon, ohio. raymond, you are on "washington journal." caller: i think that negotiations should be open to us. host: have you made that appoint -- that point your representative? caller: here in ohio we get no response. host: what do you think you are missing by these negotiations not being held in an open forum? not being held in an open forum? caller: i think that we have a right to know what is going on, we pay the bills. host: we have a twitter message
7:12am
here -- host: back to the phones. jane, democratic line. caller: the first thing that i heard this morning with president clinton recommending a lowering of the corporate rates. you can bet that of this continues, i will not be voting democrat again. what has gotten into him? i do not understand he is supporting by lowering of the corporate tax rates. this has not made a lot of noise. host: this is something that she would want negotiators to
7:13am
consider them the caller: that they are not coming up with the right answers, we have to be very loud. because they are wrong about this. we have got to raise the debt limit and the revenues. bill clinton? give me a break. host: clearwater, florida. go ahead. caller: recently i heard grant called, basically they have drawn a line in the san. they were characterized as not seeing anything, but the solution is not beautiful -- beautiful. what they are holding out for is they want some kind of balanced budget where they can negotiate on the exact wording. we should have a balanced budget
7:14am
just like every other state. host: alan, how do you think you go about getting pepper point driven home? caller: i do not know. i guess called the senator. rubio might even go for it. they say that it is the tea party people who are driving it. i do not know enough about the two-party, but they do make sense. host: mississippi, janet is next. caller: i feel as long as our politicians are bought by big corporations, we cannot trust the word that they say. they will do what the
7:15am
corporations want. the supreme court gave corporations the right to be individuals. they do not have rights like individuals. they are individuals themselves but they should not make the decisions as far as who represents the people. a lot of people would call me ignorant, but i know how to balance my checkbook and if these people cannot balance their checkbook, they need to go home and learn how to. host: fixed the political experts from the book -- brookings institution says -- that they hash it out in private first. your thoughts? caller: my thought is that if people cannot get together and talk it out, compromise, what
7:16am
is the use of having separate get together is? tempore i know that i sound ignorant, but people need to sit down in a circle and come to a conclusion. host: another twitter message from boring file clerk, writing -- host: chattanooga, tennessee. gerry, go ahead. caller: thank you for c-span. what president obama doing basically let the republicans hide in his administration. you have a republican party in place. this is where it came from. you have these tax cuts,
7:17am
medicare part b. president obama is not going to change those tax breaks. we are still in a fix with these republican parties. we need to come out of these wars. republicans are deliberately trying to sabotage this economy because this is the only way they can get someone elected in this economy. everything else to sell or group -- sour grapes. keeping the unemployment rate at the level that it is. they are trying to destroy this economy. host: some of those things you mentioned could be resolved if this was done in the open? jerry is gone. let's move on to rhode island. caller: but would like to point out that there are many, many
7:18am
federal institutions and agencies that are not warranted by the constitution. we could get rid of many of them and it would save this nation billions, if not maybe trillions of dollars annually, just by getting rid of these institutions. the department of education, the national cancer institute, the national endowment for humanities, whenever that is. some of these institutions have absolutely no real use. i think that they could be eliminated and most of the american people would not know. host: the article this morning comes with the headline "public does not have placed in debt
7:19am
talks." host: we are asking about the role of the public in debt negotiations. union bridge, maryland.
7:20am
caller: first of all let wanted to say that a lot of comments have been made about greece and their economy and how they failed. one of the reasons they failed, and i am telling you this because my father is extremely into politics, greek politics, they have a very unfair tax system like they do your. corporations get the break. basically it is a buddy system. this is what is going on in this country right now. you cannot have a balanced if not everyone is contributing equally a lot of these tea party people talk about small government.
7:21am
socialism is a small government. dictatorship is an even smaller government. you cannot have a small government and expect it to function fairly. people are naturally it going to get greedy when they get into a position and do not have to answer to anyone, corporations -- those that want no rules are the ones that want the liberty to take advantage. host: we will leave it there. p.j.. kansas city, missouri. kansas city, missouri. caller: the public, is the public not the government? the answer is no. host: the public has no role than the caller: apparently not -- of the public has no role? caller: apparently not. host: would you like to see them represented?
7:22am
caller: absolutely. every one that called in is right, but the government is functioning incorrectly. host: have you reached out to your representatives and senators about this? caller: why waste my time? host: in "the detroit free press" the lead story is -- "what would you do to balance the federal budget"? one man does not like to drive much at night, so he is willing to pay for investments in light rail.
7:23am
host: you can read more about that in "the detroit free press pure " -- "the detroit free press." honolulu, jeanne, hawaii. aloha. caller: thank you, thank you for having me answer your question. and host: what is the role of the public in answering these questions? caller: we need access to these debates and there should be a hearing of that. we should not be left wondering what president obama is going to do and what those democrats are going to do.
7:24am
host: have you been in contact with representatives about this? caller: yes. regularly. i have not had any response yet. host: will this affect el new vote in november of 2012? -- will this affect how you vote in november of 2012 democrats caller: i am not sure how why will vote yet. host: this twitter message says -- host: grayson, ga., and you are on the line for "washington journal." caller: this entire situation appears to be caused by the public and who they voted for, the role of the public in this is to learn and understand the scope of the problem that they
7:25am
caused. host: in your opinion, what is the scope of the problem? how do we go taking care of that? caller: in libertarian, so i do believe in a much smaller role. juan paul, i guarantee that if he brought it back to the side that we originally intended, we would be able to take care of those in need instead of spending money in the foolish ways that we have. host: more on the discussion in "a wall street journal."
7:26am
host: our question this morning is what is the role of the public eye and that negotiations. gene, you are on the line. caller: if president obama gets in again, i m not going to be a
7:27am
democrat. i am changing to independent. because if the republicans can draw a line in the sand, he can as well. the last time he gave up, giving them that tax break. the extent of the cut for the rich. yet now he needs to put his foot in the sand in he had better put that foot in the sand. my mother told me you cannot argue with a fool and crazy people. host: we will leave it there, jeanne. from twitter --
7:28am
host: we are going to take a look at some of the other items in the news this morning regarding the public's role in debt negotiations. from "the washington times," bear right "employers skeptical of obama of bell of less red tape."
7:29am
host: miami, florida, republican line. alan, what is the role of the public? caller: these things should be transparent and open to the public. when you look at the bailout and the surplus, you can see that we had things coming out. for example, making it the federal reserve in the run paul bell, we saw that there were things going on that no one in america would recognize. european big banks and companies here in the state's, i think it will be of service to the public to see what is going on. as far as debt negotiations,
7:30am
obama in 2000, when he was a senator, it was a total failure. host: our next call comes from sarge, nebraska. caller: why do they want to have those meetings in private? host: why do you think they want to have these meetings in private? caller: first of all, the situation is much worse than the average american has been told. and they want to cheat you. they are crooks. that is why they want to do behind closed doors. i get tired of democrats and republicans arguing. it all makes sense. they all the same people.
7:31am
there are crooks. if the american people knew what the government was doing in their name, they would probably revolt, to be truthful. we do not know half of what they do. they give money to corrupt countries in keep dictators in power. we put those people in office and the use our money to go around and do things we did not sanction. host: a couple of items in the newspaper this morning regarding general petraeus, getting ready to take over as the new director of the cia. he sees the fight shifting to the east.
7:32am
host: in a related story this morning, "general petraeus cites the patriotism of troops and work to be done."
7:33am
host: also in "usa today" this morning, and op-ed saying "to win the war in afghanistan, we must fix the politics." host: back to the phones and the public's discussion, asheville, n.c., george -- joyce. caller: we do not have any say in what congress says it through our president except through voting. i call them all the time and make my voice heard. sometimes they are not nice to
7:34am
me. i think that the biggest problem in this country are the illegals that come in here to of our country and a protest. the taxes of this country are taking care of them. they will hit the streets in georgia this time. arizona and other states. host: you said you had had contact? caller: just about my complaints with social security and medicare. host: their response to you? caller: they just listen to me sometimes. sometimes they say thank you for calling. host: you have spoke to them on
7:35am
the phone? caller: i was complaining more about illegals, i think that is the biggest problem of the nation. host: i am going to let you go now. we have this biggest -- we have this twitter message. host: auburn they'll, florida, you are on washington journal. caller: they never listen to us at all. this is all about them. we have no say in any type of politics or anything that goes on and on and on. they claim that the tea party speaks for people, but the tea party is run by corporations and individuals. like grover norquist.
7:36am
politics making a place for him for no tax increases. for no tax increases. host: what about the people who say that your vote is your say? caller: here is the thing. if all of the people that watched c-span voted, we would have a wonderful country. i would say that 52% of the people have no idea who these people are or what they stand people are or what they stand for . host: in an open "the washington post" this morning, "u.s. cutts health premiums for pre-existing conditions."
7:37am
buskir coastal louisiana, bob, republican line. caller: good morning. go ahead, bob. caller: yes. how do we know that there is a debt crisis?
7:38am
we never see any facts and figures. all that we have to do is go by what timothy geithner says. you know what he is? host: it has been in all of the papers. papers. caller: i have never seen any facts and figures. just that timothy geithner says that it is a debt crisis. host: what is the role of the public in those negotiations, then? then? caller: how come we do not see anything? like us said. -- like i said. host: have you spoken to your representatives about this? caller: any one that raises our taxes will have to look for a new job. host: alan, you are on
7:39am
"washington journal." caller: this so-called bush tax cut is another bailout. this is bob -- bothered money. we have been bothering money to pay for the richest people in our culture to have a tax cut. furthermore, this started during the course of a war. no one mentioned that. host: what is the role of the public in these negotiations? caller: to hold their feet to the fire. host: this message is in "the los angeles times" this morning.
7:40am
host: camden, south carolina, you are on "washington journal." caller: good morning. host: what do you think that the public's role is in these negotiations? caller: you elect people on the promises that they make and then the promises are forgotten. and then you do not know who to
7:41am
believe. republicans tell you one thing, democrats tell you something else. they all liars. the working poor people know what happened to the jobs in the economy. politicians have all said it. tax rates have nothing to do with it. it is cheap labor. host: this lead story from "usa today." this is by paul davidson. "federal and state regulators are cracking down on waste and fraud."
7:42am
host: also in the newspapers this morning, the lead article from "the washington post." host: back to the phones. maria, what is the role of the public in debt negotiations?
7:43am
public in debt negotiations? caller: these people do not have the consent of the government. i have gotten in touch with my senators and i get boilerplate response is saying that we have to care about these wars. this is actually a battle between the global lists, fascism for them and communism for us, and looking at the european union. you can see what can happen. i think we will have to take to the streets and put in people that put america first. host: are you talking literally going into the streets? caller: i think that we will have to, they are not responding to people doing in a polite way?
7:44am
host: are you talking about a peaceful protests or inciting violence? caller: i do not know. if they are taking everything away from us, they are not our representatives any more. thomas jefferson said that every so often it is pretty much the blood of the people. i hate to say it, but whatever it takes. yes, thank you. host: correa, independent line. thank you. this message from twitter -- host: back to the phones, killed several bills. several bills. john, you are on " washington
7:45am
journal." caller: the lady before me stole my thunder. the republican party is doing more to destroy this country than any terrorist group could do. they are cutting, cutting, cutting, then they are raising, raising, raising for the corporate elite. host: you do not think that democrats have a hand in any of this? this? caller: the monster is to help the rich. host: a couple of stories from venezuela this morning.
7:46am
"hugo chavez returns after cancer treatment, and bending politics there yet again." host: also in the papers this morning, regarding the return of president chavez --
7:47am
host: st. petersburg, florida, charles, you are on "the washington journal." caller: this is the deal. host: what is the deal? caller: without jobs, there is no income. without income, there is no purchasing. without that, there is no tax revenue. until that changes, you are just blowing smoke. there was a call from some man who claimed that he got $30,000 per year in social security.
7:48am
i wonder if c-span does not have the right to call a person on that. that is absolutely absurd. host: we will leave it there. i know for a fact that was not doing the show on saturday. from this story, "pressure builds on the hill for sale of f-16's to tie 1." -- taiwan." host: nancy, concord, you are on "the washington journal."
7:49am
caller: first, we need to be informed. we need to find out what the tax structure actually is. we have heard about the bush tax cuts. but what was the tax rate set to cover the budget that was agreed on that got suspended? another thing that i heard on c- span not long ago was war profiteering. we always had a tax implemented for any war that we were going to wage so that we could cover the soldiers and everything that was needed. those were tax dollars to the government that ultimately funded the military and everything else that we do. at some point, before the bush tax cuts, a republican congress and senate set a budget based on certain tax level to fund our
7:50am
country. then it was arbitrarily defended for 10 years. what was that tax rate? we do not know this information. we do not have that and i think it is very disturbing as americans. the fourth of july, waiving our flags and sparklers and all of that, where do we get the information? it is just not out there. when you parent fox news and stuff, it really diminishes our information. to find out and understand what was in place before the bush taxes -- maybe we should do away with the things that were funded under that budget. host: this morning from the op- ed section of "the baltimore sun," he says under the
7:51am
headline "a way round the debt crisis" -- host: you can read more of that in this morning's "baltimore sun." vicki, independent line. you are on "washington journal."
7:52am
caller: i am with that dell in new jersey. americans, unfortunately, will lead to it, as they are used to being told what to do. if we had a 3 cent tax we would bring in $420 billion per year. we can dig ourselves out of this. host: that is vic in iowa. thank you to all of the callers that participated in the first segment. coming up later, federal background checks and creating high-performance government. but coming up next after this break, a discussion in 2012 fund-raising as we head towards election day. you are watching "washington journal." we will be right back. ♪ ♪
7:53am
>> hello, program? >> roger, discovery. >> nasa is on schedule for the final delivery of the space shuttle program this friday. look back at the shuttle program, starting with the launch of columbia 30 years ago. explore what is ahead for nasa online at the c-span video library. >> id used to be that we did not release transcripts of arguments, and that we release them within half an hour.
7:54am
it used to be that audio recordings were released at the end of the term. now they are released every week. we are moving in a particular direction. cameras present all sorts of challenges that these other areas do not. >> right now on the c-span youtube channel, watch the chief justice john roberts latest comments on cameras in the courtroom. more online, at youtube. >> now available, the c-span congressional directory. inside, new and returning house and senate members with contact information and committee assignments, as was information on the white house, supreme court justices and governors. >> "washington journal" continues. continues. host: ken vogel is the senior
7:55am
reporter at politico here to talk to us about fund-raising in campaign 2012. guest: good to be with us -- with you. host: tell us, how slow is slowly and why is it, in their opinion? guest: it should be evidenced by the fact that mitt romney, the prohibitive favorite, that has really been looking for the presidency since 2006, continuously, has continued to have a semblance of a campaign organization with a full-fledged fundraising operation, beating the bushes, cultivating relationships from big donors, he was expected to show something of a prohibitive gap between him and the rest of the candidates in the field, hoping
7:56am
that we understood he was attempting to raise somewhere between $30,000,000.39999999 dollars, but we understand now he is likely to raise potentially less than what he raised in 2008, when he was less of a known commodity end was not the favorite. the favorite is only going to report less than $20 million and everyone else is going to report something substantially less. clearly, expectations are a big part of the fund-raising game. you want to be seen as building momentum and the meeting expectations. some of the reasons that the fund raising is off to a slow start, what can only be seen as disappointing totals, as well as the wide nature -- wide open nature of the field, although it is regarded as republican
7:57am
candidates who are in a wide open field, sorting themselves out, picking a front runner and a presidential candidate, centering itself around the ideas that it wants to put front and center. does it want the tea party to have a more fiscally focused candidate? or does it want a party that is more focused around social issues? candidates who have had surprising surges in the early stages of this election. michele bachmann, likely we will see her in the same neighborhood as some of the candidates below mitt romney. there is really a debate within the republican party that coincides with an economic flagpole that has produced some fund-raising totals that i think a lot of republicans had
7:58am
hoped would be higher. host: in "the washington times" this morning -- host: even though mitt romney is somewhere between $50,000,000.20000000 dollars, the next four candidates according to these figures, tim pawlenty, ron paul, jon pawlenty, ron paul, jon huntsman, that does not even add
7:59am
up to 15 million. it is still seen as a slow money raising cycle? guest: because mitt romney had done the things that were necessary to get off to a fast start. relative to the rest of the field, however, when you look at this point in the 2008 cycle, mitt romney raised more than $20 million. rudy giuliani, $17 million. john mccain, the eventual nominee, $11 million. three big guns out front, competing against an open democratic field, we did not know that president obama's fund-raising operation would be the juggernaut that it turned out to be. at that point, with an unknown opponent, there was more fund-
8:00am
raising by individual candidates and folks using the gop nomination than we see at this point in a comparable cycle where we do know who the opponent is going to be. they know that money will be important and yet the numbers are substantially behind. it is disappointing. it has to be a letdown for the republican field. host: kenneth vogel we're talking kenneth about fund raising in campaign 2012. if you want to get involved in a conversation, the numbers are on the screen.
8:01am
you can also get in touch with us electronically by e-mail and twitter. our first question comes from baltimore, md. on our 14 republicans. on the "washington journal." caller: how you think the supreme court ruling that corporations are allowed to give as much money they would like to give in an election like the election coming up, how do you think that will affect both democrats and republicans? democrats and republicans? and basically, neutralize the people -- when i say people, just personal people who want to participate in the process and let their interest be watered down? guest: great question keep has. he is referring to the decision
8:02am
called citizens united, that found that laws prohibiting corporations and unions from spending money, not giving money to candidates, but spending to candidates, but spending money directly on ads, get out the vote efforts, other election related activities that are expressly intended to support the election or defeat of a candidate, that it is unconstitutional for that type of spending to be barred. what has resulted from this decision is not corporations giving a ton of money to candidates, but instead spending money on these outside groups, and some of the most well known are karl rove's group crossroads, and these groups spent in the neighborhood of $70 million in the 2010 midterm elections.
8:03am
they are spending more than $120 million and more in the run-up. democrats are largely on the sideline in this newly legalized spending, and most are gearing up to try to compete if not dollar for dollar then let -- not let republicans have the space to themselves. we're going to see a ton of money raised by these outside groups' combined. in some ways, it marginalizes the spending of candidates. if you want to look it money as speech, the argument that the supreme court used in deriving its decision, it would dilute the speech and the impact of individuals giving directly to campaigns. host: this decision by the supreme court has created groups that have been known as super
8:04am
pacs. last week the fcc weighed in, and you wrote about, the federal elections commission on thursday unanimously voted down a proposal that would have further empowered -- tell us more about what the ftc said with regard to the operation of these super pacs. guest: it is a brave new world. we are trying to see how the old rules apply to these new groups that can raise money. the real potential to limit these groups' power is in the coordination roles. they are by law not allowed to coordinate with candidates and
8:05am
campaigns in how they raise that money. the question and how they coordinate -- not a legal term but a term of art -- on the fund-raising side. what was proposed to the federal election commission was that federal candidates and officeholders, everyone from nancy pelosi and harry reid who have very close ties to the group that made the proposal, to present obama, john boehner, mitch mcconnell, whether they are able to go out and ask for money for these groups. in other words, they could ask for corporations to give unlimited money but not take it directly for their campaigns. they would be raising it for these outside groups. the ftc said you could only ask for money in a limited amount that these groups could help prior to the supreme court ruling. since i wrote that money, several a pointed out to me --
8:06am
several have pointed out to me and the lawyers are looking for the ways to force the envelopes that the fec prohibited them from asking for unlived in many, but they allow the candidates to appear at fund-raisers for these groups at which these unlimited contributions are raised, as long as they are not explicitly asking for the unlimited money. nancy pelosi could go to a fund- raiser at which corporations are giving million dollars checks to an outside group, and she could shake hands, she could give a little speech, but she could not make the ask. give this group by seven-figure checks. checks. that is a huge gaping loophole and the candidates will take advantage of it. it is a decision that just came down last week. host: we're talking about fund- raising and the 2012 campaign.
8:07am
salt lake, utah, you are on the "washington journal." go-ahead, connie. caller: thank you for taking my call. i was listening to the presentation and it is money, money, money. until we take money out of the campaigns and to public financing, i feel my one vote does not count at all. the frustration is how do we attack this? the people who are going to vote, who have the power, would be my representative. of course, they are not going to do this. guest: connie brings up a
8:08am
solution that has been brought up to address this, public financing, government money to run the campaigns. there is a system in place for presidential candidates to participate, that checkoff box on the top of your income tax return that allows you to contribute up to $5. the system has been largely rendered irrelevant, because of a lot of people do not check that box even though it is no additional tax money. additional tax money. they are not paying another $5 in taxes, if it is just that $5 of your taxes cut to this form. but the biggest reason it has been rendered largely irrelevant is that president obama raese $750 million by turning down this system. he became the first campaign to turn down public financing in
8:09am
the system in the wake of watergate. it is extremely unlikely the candidates will except this system if they know that president obama will raise upwards to $1 billion. in 2008 when john mccain participated, it gave him may be $80 million. $80 million compared to $750 million. your choice is made right there. there is a public financing bill that would enact a similar system in congressional campaigns. it got a little momentum in the last congress. that was a democratic congress. democrats are looked more likely to support these types of reforms. the house of representatives is now flipped. but the odds between extremely unlikely and-that this bill would gain any momentum going
8:10am
forward. it is probably what we will be left with until through 2012 if not the foreseeable future. host: this comment on twitter. back to the funds. dayton, ohio,, for independent -- tom on our line for and attended -- independents. independents. caller: the tea party as an organization, can they put as much money in there as they want? and my comment on the tea party is that i want that thank them. all the people out there listening, we can start a free
8:11am
trade money and -- party and but all these global this out. we get help out the companies. there is one here in ohio, american made genes. we need to make our toys here. this is getting off track, but this all has to do with the campaign in the money. that is my main question -- and for the tea party. guest: the tea party has made quite an impact on american politics. but it is not quite clear that the tea party has been able to get the organizational momentum necessary to make an impact in presidential politics. certainly at the congressional level, tea party activists giving money or very inferential in 2010. it were candidates able to a gain momentum by virtue of tea
8:12am
party support. it is difficult to organize behind a candidate and make an impact on the fund-raising side. i talk a lot to tea party activists and they tell me that there is no organization. that is one of the strengths of the tea party movement. but also potentially, one of the impediments for being influential in presidential politics were organization is so very important. there is a lot of debate in the tea party about which candidate to get the hundred discussion of michele bachmann, herman cain, ron paul who some see as the father of the tea party. we already do see him making an impact in his 2012 presidential campaign. but to be able to push a candidate over the edge, to move
8:13am
a candidate from the second tier to the first tier, or take a first tier candidate and put him over the top, there's a question whether the tea party has the organizational support and momentum to do something like that. caller: linda sends us this week. -- this week. -- tweet. guest: there are new types of 501side groups including were those groups empowered by this ruling to spend money without disclosing donors. they never disclose donors before they were prohibited, and that is a big question. they are advocates for reducing the role and power of money in politics and hold that up as one
8:14am
of the most significant impact of the supreme court decision, allowing undisclosed, unregulated money to be spent in politics. we have seen that moved through congress but fell short of becoming law in the last congress that would give required disclosure of this type of money. so far there is no disclosure. it is something that act is for stricter finance campaign to less campaign finance, and i find it to be a problem because i would like to report of where this money is coming from. i'm unable to do so because of this new channel of money. host: a photomontage of where republican candidates spent independent state. mitt romney and jon huntsman were in new hampshire. others were in ohio.
8:15am
in addition to political considerations to be in these places at this time, all the rows of campaign financial decisions helping fuel these decisions for them? romney in huntsman, for example, spending more time in new hampshire. guest: absolutely, and it comes down to this organization to the tea party. it cost a lot of money to make an effort to win in a caucus state like iowa. i know it is not just a caucus state, but one that has a very heavy emphasis in the republican party on social issues, where mitt romney and jon huntsman are seen as susceptible to a challenge from the right. they are seen as more moderate and cast themselves as appealing more to independent in swing voters. in iowa, they have to do a cost-
8:16am
benefit analysis. they have to decide is it worth it to put the number of boots on the ground, to make a run of running, not just the caucus in early next year or early february, but to win the straw polls that happens in august, seen as a key indicator for the caucuses in iowa. in order to do well there, you have to invest a lot of money and bossing your people to these events come organizing it, events come organizing it, putting up television ads, pawlenty is already committed to iowa. he is spending a lot of money there. mitt romney and jon huntsman had signaled that they are not going to compete there and they will focus on new hampshire.
8:17am
that is not just a decision that is based on where they think their orientation in terms of social/fiscal conservatism /moderation lines up with those voters. it is where they think they're hard running -- hard earned one raising money is going to be best bet. new gingrich has a lot of financial troubles but he thinks financial troubles but he thinks he has a chance and iowa. michele bachmann is investing in iowa. we could see her raise a surprising amount of money. she has shown she could do that in the house. and also to put the other real robust organization into iowa that could win the caucuses. that would throw the entire gop primary calendar into an chaotic field.
8:18am
host: you mentioned that governor pawlenty is putting governor pawlenty is putting some of his money into the primary box and some in the general election box. this is a common practice for candidates to do this? if so, is it presumptuous to say, we're going to put this money in the general election campaign fund, when you are not necessarily the leader right now in the primary season? he might not even get to the general election fund. would it not be more put it to spend as much money as you can try to become the nominee of your party and worry about that stuff later? guest: this reflects the difference between raising primary money and general election monday. election monday. a donor can give to thousand $500 per election -- $2,500 per
8:19am
election. they can give it for the primary, and then for the general election. if the candidate does not make it to the general election, they have to refund it. this is not a conscious decision by tim pawlenty to start building the general election war chest. he is going to the same big donors and asking them to write as big a check as they can so that he shows a big number only a portion of that can actually be spent on the primary election effort. host: kenneth vogel is our guest, a senior reporter for the politico. caller: i have had a question caller: i have had a question for a long time concerning the public unions, the teacher
8:20am
unions, and all those other types of unions. they put a lot of money towards candidates, but it is that taxpayer money paying for these public unions. i am a republican and i do not want my money to go to who they usually want their money to good to. hal in the world this -- is that constitutional or legal? host: what union are you in? you did not want your money going to the democrats. which union are you in? are you in a union? caller: no, i am not a union. as a taxpayer, i know that the public unions support the democrats usually. i am concerned that my money is going toward, you know, going out there.
8:21am
it is going to candidates that i would never support. host: logan in maryland. guest: unions are big spenders in the political's says. they give money to their political action committees, which we should point out are not coming from dues. but unions do spend a lot of money on get the -- get out the vote efforts on advertising, and they are empowered by this january 2010 supreme court decision. union supporters would answer that it is taxpayer money to the extent that public employees who are members of public employee you unions have some portion of their salary go to union dues, and therefore they salaries are derived from government money, you could make that argument, but they are saying that it is
8:22am
actually these individual workers' money that they are earning at from the government. it would be no different than, say, gm or some other large company that was the beneficiary of taxpayer-funded bailouts giving money -- paying their employees and their employees and giving money to the political action committee. it has become increasingly a bogeyman for conservatives, public employee unions, and i think we will see more of this sentiment expressed by the collar. you saw most recently manifest in some of the state's likes wisconsin, where there was a battle that the republican governor had with the public employee unions, and i think you will see that continue through the 2012 elections. host: we're talking with kenneth vogel.
8:23am
if you want to read more of his writings, you can go to their website. one of the headlines today is the tea party's new role model -- michael e.. you can read about that -- mike lee. you can read about that at their web site. online for democrats, you're on the "washington journal." caller: i feel the full lack of disclosure and the unrestricted and -- non-restrictions from citizens united since is leading us to an oligarchy with corporations in control of our political system. under the citizens united ruling, with these groups making these huge influx of campaign ads and advertisement, will they have the possibility of overwhelming and confusing the average voter, basically not us
8:24am
-- not let us be as informed as under the old rules? guest: that is certainly the concern. we heard it articulated by president obama soon after this decision was handed down, in his state of the union address where he called out the supreme court justices who were sitting not 30 feet from him in the house chamber there. he said precisely that, that this would drown out the voices of average voters. that continues to be a concern. i do not think that there is a lot of evidence to suggest the corporations themselves have really taken advantage of this decision to spend a lot of money on these politics, where we have seen a few notable examples of corporations so doing. they face quite a bit of a backlash both from their customers in the form of what cat as far as the shareholders,
8:25am
who wanted to know the policies. in minnesota, one company spent money on candidates, target, and they were forced to clarify its political activities policies. more than congressional action, more than court cases, we could see action at the corporate level where shareholders could bring resolutions that would limit or restrict or in some ways dictate how corporations can spend money in politics. that is the sort of real front in this fight over corporate spending in politics. host: james in southeast
8:26am
louisiana, i hope that is right, once and know which party spent more in 2010? guest: on the outside group side, republicans did, and however democrats spent more through their campaign committees, through candidates, when you combine all of the official channels of spending, i believe that democrats ended up spending more. certainly the party committees spent more and raised more. watch the way that money adapts and ships. when you see what we call the smart money, the corporate money, whether it is corporate tax or trade associations, they tend to support incumbents. they want to do those things for the people who are in office, who have the ability to pass and vote on legislation that impacts them. in 2010, democrats were the majority party in both the house
8:27am
in the senate. it makes sense that they received more money from these types of groups. however, it will be interesting to watch how quickly that changes now the republicans have the majority in the house. i think we can expect to see this institutional money supporting republicans more in the house, and then the senate is going to be something of a tossup, and the presidential campaign will be interesting to watch. this outside spending, this super pac spending that we have talked about today. host: some figures to consider that we got from bloomberg. this is between january 1 in may 31 of this year. the republican party has raised $30.5 million. the democratic party has raised $45.5 million. the democratic senatorial committee has raised $4.1
8:28am
million. the republican senatorial committee has raised just over $3 million. linda, you are on the "washington journal." caller: i wanted to tell l ogan is that obama is putting a $10 levy on all the teachers union. these public employees that work for these teachers unions and stuff, they are not given their money voluntarily. they are told they have to give the money or they will lose their jobs. my relative has been in the public sector, and they have all had to sit there and listen to democratic campaigns, even if they were republican or independent. host: that is linda in west virginia. on the front page of "roll call ,"are the folks in south
8:29am
carolina keeping an eye, in addition to the social issues, are they keeping an eye on who is raising how much money and whether they are spending it in iowa and new hampshire before they get the south carolina, as an indicator of which course they might want to -- course they might want to back in this race? -- horse they might want to back in this race? guest: they want to see these candidates spending money in their states. they want to feel like they are being courted. some of the tea party activists in particular in iowa were none too pleased to hear mitt romney and jon huntsman saying that they are not going to spend a whole lot of money in your state. we do not think that we can win. south carolina has an interesting balance as well. it will bring into place some of
8:30am
the same consideration that the candidates use in deciding whether they are going to spend their money in iowa or new hampshire. south carolina follow shortly on the heels thereafter. it is a state where traditionally social issues have been a big motivating factor for the folks to vote in that primary in that state. i think that we will see a little bit of reluctance to invest heavily by candidate who is seen as susceptible to a challenge from the right on social issues, and they may instead invest more in nevada, which has a caucus around that time or soon after, which has rewarded candidates who have more of a libertarian fiscal conservative streak as opposed to a socially conservative
8:31am
streak. all of these factors including money going to the decision. we do not have to look back further than florida in 2008 in the republican presidential primary. an extreme example of putting your money where rudy guiliani did where he put his money in the state where he thought he had the best chance of winning, florida. florida. he almost broke off iowa and new hampshire, where people thought he might do well, and invested all of this capital in florida. when he did not win the primary, his campaign was over. he raised all of this money and was the second full leading was the second full leading fund- raiser behind romney, a comparable period to what we're talking about now, and his strategy based on how much money he was raising and where he thought he was strong, it was a week and it pointed to a
8:32am
textbook example of how not to draw up one of the strategies. host: gary, indiana, we are running out of time so make it brief. caller: we know that free speech as constitutional limits symbolized by a yelling fire in a crowded theater. i would suggest that anonymous donors is granting the status of personhood to anonymous corporations is analogous to the climate of this country that is so intense, that that could be interpreted as people falsely and anonymously yelling fire in crowded theaters of the national campaigns. guest: that is the calculation. that is what the supreme court
8:33am
based their decision of citizens united on, this idea that corporate money his speech. therefore, laws that limit the ability of corporations to spend money on politics are an unconstitutional abridgment of speech -- free speech. they clearly reached a different conclusion come even with the same sort of calculation, did not deem it to be a danger to democracy. in dead -- in fact, they did the opposite. host: our last call comes from taxes. also on our line for democrats. caller: my comment is very simple. financing all these politicians while we are cutting down on what we call entitlements, entitlements are for people who are disabled and worked all
8:34am
their lives like me, no cost-of- living raise for two years, and i have a neighbor that's over worked with muscular dystrophy. to cut our money and say that we cannot help people and with hungry americans, people with no clothes, it infrastructure crumbling, all these millions and billions that you're talking about here, to me it is mind- boggling. fund raising and campaign in 2012, we have to vote for someone. i was a teacher for years, and no president took money from me. guest: the distinction that the caller may be missing is that the money spent on campaigns with the demise of the public financing system is not entirely private. it is not government money. but one caller made a case about
8:35am
public employee union funding, but you make a hard time making the case that the money that is spent on social security entitlements is comparable to that spent on campaigns. that divergence stream of money. to put that into a bit of context, we're talking about all this money, billions of dollars being spent on this election, how much money is spent advertising toothpaste? in a given year, it is more than spend on a presidential election. those who say the sky is falling, what would you rather spend more money on, advertising toothpaste or deciding who should be president? if you think it is deciding who should be president, then you should not be alarmed by the money spent on presidential campaigns. host: kenneth vogel, thank you for being on the program.
8:36am
still ahead, accountability and productivity, but first rick schmitt discussing the background checks for guns. before that, we leave you with that of state from c-span radio. >> democratic congressman jim clyburn, the assistant minority leader, speaking earlier says that he thinks members of congress could reach a deal to avoid a government default if they could get past the semantics of tax increases. semantics of tax increases. many republicans consider closing loopholes to be the same as raising taxes. i short-term deal might be the only viable option if in his words we cannot get a longer- term deal. the mall the senate returns to work today, cutting their fourth of july break sharper work will continue one of debt reduction plan that republicans and democrats can do -- can agree on. also on the schedule, the
8:37am
situation on libya. today is expected around 2:00 p.m. eastern. live senate coverage on cease to the land -- live coverage on c-span2 and c-span radio. authority not say that they are after those who were never eligible as though -- as well as workers to keep getting checks after they return to work. states are in hiring investigators to search out fraud as well as collaborating with other states. on wall street, stock futures are rising as investors look for economic data this week. the government expected to release a report that businesses increased their orders for manufacturing goods in may. dow futures are up 12 points. >> c-span has launched a new website for politics with the latest events from the campaign
8:38am
trail, biographical information, updates from candidates and political reporters, and links to media partners in the early primary and caucus states. >> "the supreme court" is available as an enhanced e-book, telling the story of the court to the eyes of the justices themselves. interviews with current and retired justices. this e-book includes an interview with the latest supreme court justice, elena kagan, and multimedia clips from all of the justices. available now where ever e-books are sold. >> you are watching c-span, bringing you politics and public affairs. every morning it is "washington journal," our live call-in program about the news of the day, connecting you with elected officials, policymakers, and journalists. weekdays, watch live coverage of the u.s. house, and on weeknights, congressional
8:39am
hearings and policy forums. also supreme court oral arguments. on the weekends, you can see our signature interview programs. on saturdays, "the communicators," and on sundays, "newsmakers," "q&a," and prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. you can also watch our programming any time at c-span.org, and it is all searchable at our c-span video library. c-span -- washington your way, a public service created by america's cable companies. >> "washington journal" continues. host: rick schmitt joins us from the center of public integrity to talk about a new report showing flaws and loopholes and a national instant criminal background check system designed to ensure that those considered dangerous do not have the ability to purchase a firearm. welcome to the program. what led to the creation of nics?
8:40am
guest: it is one of those washington akron is. -- acronyms. it is up function of the brady law signed by president clinton in 1993. it is up function -- named for james brady, the white house press secretary wounded in the assassination attempt on president reagan by john hinckley. nics is a way for the federal government to identify people who are prohibited by statute from owning or buying a firearm. those laws go back to 1958 or so, but the unique thing about the nics system was up federal system to screen buyers of funds that went into operation for the first time in 1999. it is been in effect for the last dozen years or so.
8:41am
host: you wrote an item for the huffington post about the badly flawed system failing to contain firearms. congress and the bush administration took action to shore up the system which was supposed to keep guns away from the deranged and the dangers purview also wrote that the federal background system conceived as the first line of defense against gun crime was conflicted over just who should be barred, brought in to highlight by deep shooting in tucson which killed six and injured gabrielle giffords. what sort of loopholes and gaps still exist in the system that allow people who should not have guns to get guns? guest: nics is a joint
8:42am
state/federal operation in which the federal government which administers nics is relying on documents and records that it gets from state governments in large part. the problem is that it cannot compel the state to provide that information, and another problem is that there are sometimes statistical and technical and legal and moral issues surrounding the supplying of those records. a well known that in that process -- gap in that process has been mental detectives, a term under the law, which was exploited by the virginia tech shooter during that catastrophe. here reared itself again in the tucson shootings.
8:43am
after virginia tech, there was a nics improvement act signed by president bush. it was an effort to jump-start the process of delivering those records by setting up a system of incentives and grants that would help the states modernize their records system and expedite the flow of records. that was the good news. the bad news is that in the subsequent years, virtually little if any of that money has been appropriated by congress. less than 5% has actually been appropriated. very few states have actually qualified to get those grants. possibly because of the lack of funding that congress has provided, but also because of some stipulations that were written into law that states had
8:44am
to meet in order to qualify for that funding. host: we're talking about federal background checks for guns with rick schmitt, a protruding writer with publicintegrity.org. if you want to get involved in the conversation, the numbers are on the screen. if you have called us in the last 30 days, put down the phone and send some message electronically. you're right -- you write, to databases were not designed to conduct background checks. guest: i thought that there was a comprehensive file that had
8:45am
all the information about all the people that is updated on a regular basis. it turns out that there is no single file. there are three files, two of which are behind the nics system. one is a fast criminal data base that the fbi has compiled of state records. the other is a data base of the hot files, people are fugitives or who are subject to restraining orders. the third file is the new nics file which ends up being a default. if you are actively identified in the first file, you might be identified in the second if you're a fugitive, but you will only show up as a mental defective if you are in the third file. its searches through all three
8:46am
to get the answer, i guess. the records and issues relate not just that -- data to the nics file but also the criminal history faltered again talk about the mechanics later of doing the background check, but oftentimes the fbi examiner who gets a call from a dealer requesting a crackdown check will identify record that says, rick schmitt was arrested in 1983, but it does not say whether i was convicted are cleared. which is pertinent information for determining whether someone should be denied the right to buy a gun. in roughly half of the cases in which the fbi and states have information on criminal history in these databases, there is no final disposition. the fbi has to spend a lot of
8:47am
time reaching out to courthouses throughout the country, going through boxes of old data in storage, in order to run down that information. host: our first call comes from virginia on a line for republicans. richard. caller: thank you for taking my phone call. a couple of quick comments. i am a member of the nra and i do not have a problem with background checks. i think the criminal element in this country will not try to obtain firearms legally. i think this is just a hassle for those that are law abiding citizens that want to purchase firearms. one suggestion -- maybe spend time investigating the cause of all, tobacco, and firearms with the situation on the mexican border where they allowed the neighborhood of 2000 high- powered firearms to cross the
8:48am
border into these drug gangs, and as a result, at least two of our law enforcement officers down there were murdered. i do not know if he has any comments on that. guest: that is a very good issue. it is probably best injured into at length on another program. there are a number of questions about how the government is prosecuting the border wars and the drug wars along the border. the caller makes a very good point regarding who are we stopping from buying firearms through the system. it makes a lot of sense that someone who is a career criminal is not necessarily going to go to the c-span gun shop in order to buy a gun through legal means. he will find other means, likely some private transaction on the
8:49am
street or have someone else buy guns for him in a straw purchases. government reports have indicated that even some law- enforcement officials share this. the people that we are stopping from buying guns are people that may have had a felony many years ago, who have otherwise live an outstanding life or have no idea that they are barred from buying guns. guns. what we have done with this system is essentially move the market for illegal guns further underground. host: next up, pa. on a line from democrats. caller: in 1969, i was caught by the police with one pill in my pocket. it was mescaline. i got charged with stealing $10
8:50am
i got charged with stealing $10 worth of gas in 1969. from 1970 to this day, i have not broken one lot. i am a law-abiding citizen. i want to buy a gun -- a raffle ticket, i want a gun. and that is where i found out with a background check that could not have the gun. that is my store. host: how does someone like that go about getting that passed indiscretion erased from his record so that if he can go through legal channels and buy a gun? guest: a growing number of states have restoration of rights procedures, where people who had blocked from buying guns can have their gun buying rights restored. there was a long piece in the "new york times" that talked about this in the context of
8:51am
people who were mentally ill. that some troubling conclusions about those able to purchase about those able to purchase guns, having persuaded courts that they were healthy again. but there are procedures that are in place for people, appeal procedures and that the state level in order to restore their rights. host: the article that rick schmitt refers to. no. 4, va., on a line for republicans. you are on the "washington journal" with rick schmitt. caller: i agree with a gentleman the call for him about it is is easier for illegals to get guns than a law-abiding citizen. you purchase a gun, if you have to give them all the information in everything. then you come back and you do
8:52am
not know if you're going to get it or not. if you want to buy one on the streets, you can get one within a day or 30 minutes. why should you go through all the hassle? just buy one off the streets. what are we going to do about that? guest: i would tend to disagree with the caller. i have no firsthand experience trying to buy a gun off the street. but i spent some time visiting the fbi facility in west virginia were these background checks are conducted. telephonically, essentially. setting aside all the issues associated with adequate records in the state and local issues in supplying records, it is a new efficient operation in terms of the turnaround time. they say that 90% -- and there
8:53am
are 10 million gun applications and 90% of them are resolved in the phone call that takes from three to five minutes. that seemed to be a pretty good record. what tracks that process out is the instance where a records check may turn up a record that cannot be easily resolved by the agent. people can debate whether the process of background checks is problematic but the argument that is somehow more cumbersome than buying one on the street, certainly there are more legal risks involved would find one on the street. host: you said the system was efficient, but in the peace that you wrote for iwatchnews.org, duke " the chief of the fbi section of overseeing nics, and
8:54am
he said that we have no idea how many prohibited people there are in the united states. we're not even close to being able to know. guest: that is right. that goes to my caveat. setting aside the issue with all the records that they do not have, dealing with what they do have is a very efficient system, i think. but there is no comprehensive list. we are reliant for others providing the information. providing the information. it is such that we do not really have a firm grasp on that. this seems like they will not have a firm grasp any time in the foreseeable future. the foreseeable future. host: this is a list of people prohibited from purchasing firearms. as we look through the list, we will take another call.
8:55am
austin, texas, on a line for democrats. caller: i feel that we need to control in this country. funds are a big industry, may be bigger than war is. no other country does this. in united states, but one guns on college campuses, they want students to meet young people to have guns in their dormitory rooms. this is the craziest thing i have ever heard of. how such a mentality -- the nra be at -- is behind this. it is also a republican thing. can you explain how we have developed such a mentality? no other country does this. guest: i cannot explain it very articulately. there is a very strong tradition of gun rights and gun ownership in this country. it is part of the constitution, the second amendment. the supreme court has determined that it is an individual right. the government can regulate it
8:56am
to a reasonable degree, but it is a fundamental constitutional right. it is always going to be this balancing effort that goes on in determining at what point there reasonable assurance of public safety and a constitutional right. host: california on online for independents. caller: good morning. what is being left out of this conversation is that anybody in america can go to a gun show, by as many guns as they want, and no background checks. what kind of sense does that make? no background checks at all. guest: the thing about gun shows, that is true to an extent. there are many licensed dealers that also sell bonds at gun
8:57am
shows and they have to run the background check on people to buy from them, regardless of what the venue is. it is true that someone selling from his private stock does not have to have a license and does not have to run the background check. that is led to many concerns about the huge loophole in the lock and whether or not we need to take action to plug the so- called gun show loophole. legislation introduced by senator schumer and others on capitol hill would plug this gun show loophole by extending background checks to private sales, requiring people that transfer funds to other people, run those checks to a licensed dealer who can contact the fbi to run that background check. host: if you're doing a private
8:58am
sale or a sale of the gun show, isn't there a number you can call and get some information about the person that you're selling the kind to? you are not required to, but there is a number that you can call. guest: if you voluntarily want to do that, i guess. i am not aware, and folks may well do that, but it is not a requirement in the law. it is going to be awfully hard to assure people that that is much about prophylactics solution. host: our next call comes from john in florida on a line for republicans. are you there? caller: no, ma'am -- my name is bobbie. i am calling from arkansas. host: what is your comment or question for rick schmitt of the
8:59am
center for public integrity? caller: regarding the w.i's? dwi's? guest: i do not believe that that is a prohibiting factor. if it was up felony dwi, that would be a problem. but a single offense, having been drunken-driving, so long as it is not felony, it is not a prohibiting offense. generally ballonets are crimes that involve a possible in carson nation -- incarceration of a year or more. the only misdemeanor i think is a prohibited factor could be of misdemeanor domestic assault. other than that, you would be
9:00am
clear to purchase a weapon. host: in the article that you wrote, it says that, on a recent morning, an examiner gave the morning, an examiner gave the green line to someone charged with and narcotics possession. another had a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge on his record, not of missed qualifying -- disqualifying advance, unless it involves domestic which a quick shen fu -- which a quick check showed that it did not. that it did not. guest: in this case, they are checking your background and suitability to buy a gun under the law.
9:01am
the federal firearms licensees call a 1-800 number and it will be routed to one of three call centers. this is an initial screening process. if they run the check and there are not any records, you are instantly given the right to proceed. at their record is flagged in the system, at that point, it is transferred to the fbi operations where a legal document examiner will get a call, pull up the record, and make a judgment whether it is a make a judgment whether it is a qualifying factor or not. host: our next call comes from seattle, washington, on the line for democrats. you are on "washington journal." caller: i am against gun control. i am a firm supporter of the second amendment. that being said, legislation is being kicked around making it extremely hard to purchase
9:02am
ammunition. with all the guns in this country, it will be virtually impossible to stop the gun sales. the loophole at the gun sales between each other. for the sake of an argument, if it was almost impossible to get ammunition it would solve a lot of the problems and do criminals will not sell it they cannot get it and citizens will hold onto it. it seems to me that it would be a novel way to cut down on gun violence if you would make it almost impossible to purchase ammunition. i was just wondering your response to that. guest: i agree if your goal is to cut down on the sale and efficacy of firearms that it would be one way to cut off the firepower, literally. the political prospects of that happening -- you can make the argument this is part and parcel of someone using their second
9:03am
amendment rights without being able to protect themselves or for recreational hunting or whatever. while that may well be an effective alternative, in terms of banning the sale of ammunition, i think it would be a very difficult, tricky political prospect. host: next up from new york on our line for republicans. you are on "washington journal." bill, go ahead. caller: the democratic line always amuses me. if you make it so you cannot buy ammunition, i know people that can make their own. it will be sold on the black market. criminals will never go to a gun store to buy a gun. my question is how can we do complete background checks for
9:04am
guns if the government right now will not even let you check to see if people are here legally or illegally. they can walk across the border of mexico. to me, it is ridiculous. have a great day. host: rick schmitt, how extensive is the background check process? guest: i think you put this on the screen that there are 10-12 prohibiting factors. the background check system, there is. -- there it is. there are subjective and objective elements to this. one example would be the mental health for having factor, to use the window. -- the lingo. it seems to be pretty clear-cut.
9:05am
if someone has been involuntarily committed to an institution or they are determined to be incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of mental illness in the courts, if any of those factors are met you would be prohibited from purchasing a gun. that excludes a large population who are mentally ill including jared laughner who was determined to be schizophrenic. that would not have stopped him from purchasing a gun before hand. the definition of mental lomas -- illness was put together when we had a different view of institutionalizing people who were mentally ill. it was before the rise of medication that allows people to function well with a mental illness. i think, as an example, that is
9:06am
one area that has gotten a lot of attention and debate about whether or not we are being under or over-inclusive for people who are mentally ill. host: we have more numbers from the national instant mental illness. -- nics. there were 14,409,616 gun checks. from november 1998 until may 2011, there were 131 million. the denials in that same time more only 853,000, less than 1% of the people that were checked for guns being denied between 1998 and 2011. guest: that's right and it has been a pretty steady percentage, between 1% and 2%.
9:07am
if we see 10 million apply, maybe 100,000 will be denied. host: is that because of the loopholes or because there are 99% of those who apply for guns are, in one way or another, qualified to get them. guest: i think the vast majority are certainly legally entitled to own those guns and to purchase them. the fbi is quick to point out that we have a two-pronged responsibility. one is not to stand in the way and facilitate the second amendment right, but to also serve a public safety function. some other data indicates that the number of people who are denied guns peaked early on, in the first or second year of the operation of nics.
9:08am
the total in 2010 was only around 130,000. even as the number of records that has gone into the system have increased, the number of people who are denied is actually somewhat below what it was early on. some legal analysts ascribe that to the view that it is a function of the fact that criminals are wising up to the system and are realizing there are other venues to buy guns. it does not make sense to go to a gun dealer. host: rick schmitt is from the center for public integrity. you say these number is still down by 25% from its peak in 1999, the first europe operations by nics.
9:09am
the really bad guys are getting their guns elsewhere from illegal sources. back to the phones. pennsylvania, bruce on our line for democrats. caller: how are you doing? i know we are talking about gun control. how about mental health? i work with those with mental health issues. if their records are not up to date, how can we have the gun control people keeping their upper -- their records up-to- date? host: rick schmitt, go ahead. guest: mental-health is the most delicate, sensitive, and potentially explosive. in this whole discussion. in many states, they have long
9:10am
held beliefs and laws to give mental records privacy protections. maybe those laws are still in effect that effectively bars states from sharing mental health and medical information with law enforcement at any level. there is a debate to run the country about whether or not these record ought to be made public. some states have taken action saying that they will share because there realize there is a public good involved. on the other hand, there is very much a concern about wanting to stigmatize people who have had a mental illness at one point in their life but have been able to work through it with medication, therapy, or whatever and they are now functioning member of society. host: next up is columbus, ohio, on the line for democrats. you are on "washington journal." caller: good morning. i have a short question about al
9:11am
qaeda. they wanted their members to go to these gun shows it to purchase guns because it was so easy in the united states. michael bloomberg had a comment on that. can you comment on that for me, please? thank you. guest: recently, one fellow, who is an american, who joined the taliban and is a prominent publicist in some of the al qaeda videos recently told americans to take up a jihad against the united states by going to gun shows and purchasing weapons there. he made the point that many critics of gun control policy have made that guns are easily available there. i think his wording is, "it is well known, so go out there and
9:12am
arm up." mayor michael bloomberg is against guns. he is a member of one of the groups that was spearheading that movement. host: next up from alabama on the independent line. you are on "washington journal." caller: good morning. i would like to comment about guns on college campuses. there was a time in this country when you had high school students with guns in their lockers so they could go to rotc after school. it was not uncommon that a little boy did not have a knife in his show. i am not suggesting a correlation between the two, but crime is higher now than it was then. i am not certain it is all a matter of gun control, but rather as a democracy. we have a certain level of self
9:13am
governance of our own actions on an individual level. i wonder if there are any studies whatsoever that shows a higher level of gun-control would lead to a local level of crime. thank you. host: rick schmitt? guest: a great question and one that is much debated in the literature by people. people have argued that since the brady act it has contributed to a decline in violent crime in america over the last 20 years and it has been a factor in regards to that. other people have done studies suggesting that the opposite is true and essentially the efforts -- other means have been found to commit crimes, and other outlets. there is a fairly fierce debate in the literature about whether or not gun control by itself has
9:14am
had an effect on violent crimes. host: in this morning's "the new york times," the firearms bureau finds itself in a tough place. do you expect to see more revisions or more oversight by congress with regards to the atf in the light of the fast and furious debacle? guest: you tend to think that there could be no more serious oversight of the atf which is a constant flash point for critics and defenders of gun policy. the etf in a position where they
9:15am
are damned if they do come -- damned if they do, damned if they don't. host: orange county, new york, on our line for democrats. you are on with rick schmitt from the center republican curdy -- for public integrity. caller: i can pass a background check for a pistol but i cannot pass for a rifle. i have one conviction for a crime i did not commit from 1977 that pops up and that is the crux of the issue. host: the differences between background checks. you can get past for a pistol but not for a rifle? guest: the caller raises a good issue. in terms of the way background checks are conducted.
9:16am
in fact, the fbi by a self conducts these mixed the checks conducts these mixed the checks in about 30-35 states and the other states oftentimes had the gun background checks that pre- date the law. they continue to do these checks because they may have their own laws beyond the federal restrictions. restrictions. they will run a background check of individuals under their own laws, and they will have access to nics to gain access of those records and potential violations. host: our last call from richland, misery on our line for independent -- missouri on the independent line. caller: i used to deal with a gun sales and they had a pretty good system there. host: it would work better if you would turn down your television.
9:17am
i promise. all right. we have lost scott. we have a tweet from donna816 who wants to know how hard it is to get a carry license. what does it carry license and how hard is it to get one? guest: that is a function of state law. many states have enacted, essentially, and it varies beyond jurisdiction but you can get pre-cleared to purchase a gun and you go three background check. if you clear the background check, you are allowed to purchase a gun and carry a gun for a particular period of time, usually five years. it can usually be a renewable subsequent to that. you can check with the state police oftentimes that would operate and facilitate those licenses. host: rick schmitt has been our guest from the center for public
9:18am
integrity talking about federal background checks for guns. you want to read more of his writings, you can go to the center for public integrity website. iwatch news is where he writes and the website is publicintegrity.org. we will take a short break and then a discussion on creating high-performance government. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> a russian newspaper reporting that libyan leader khaddafi is sounding off the possibility of handing off power in exchange for security guarantees. this story is based on a high- level source in moscow was being denied in tripoli and comes one day after they hosted south african president zuma who was trying to broker a deal could not be meeting with rasmussen. the senate takes up libya today.
9:19am
debate begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern and you can watch that live on c-span2 or listen on c- span radio. nato says copter service members have been killed in two attacks in eastern afghanistan. the international coalition says two died from improvised roadside bomb and another in a separate insurgent attacks. 280 is the number of international troops killed this year. more violence today in iraw. -- iraq. 35 people dead from a bomb. it first and detonated a parked car bomb near the local council building which was followed by a roadside bomb which went off as people were running in to help the victims of the first explosion. those are the latest headlines from c-span radio. >> blackberry users can now
9:20am
access four streams of programming, non-fiction books, all commercial-free. you can listen to our interview programs available from the clock. downloaded for free from app world. the c-span networks provide coverage of politics, public affairs, non-fiction books, and american history. it is available on television, radio, online, and on social media networking sites in. kinder content any time for the c-span video library. we dixie's ban on the road but the digital bus, bringing resources to your community. the c-span networks, now available in more than 100 million homes. created by cable and provided as a public service. "washington journal" continues. host: paul light is a public
9:21am
service professor but from n.y.u. and joins us to talk about a report called, "creating her performance government, a once in a generation opportunity." welcome to the program. what is in this report? guest: it has been 25 years of work. paul volcker, the former federal reserve chairman, has been doing work and i have worked with him on trying to overhaul the federal government. we believe, and i believe, that this is a terrific opportunity during this moment of divided government and the rancor that has emerged to actually get something done on government reform. it has been very difficult to do, and this is a great moment to do it. host: how can you get two sides of the government, or three sides you include the judiciary, to agree on the creation of a high-performance government if
9:22am
he cannot seem to get them to agree on how to solve the impending debt crisis? guest: i view government reorganization and reform as an issue that may actually bring the three sides together. the house republicans, the senate democrats, and the white house. this is the kind of issue that is not very exciting, to be honest. it is what my former boss, senator john glenn, once referred to as "my eyes glaze over" issue. this is a common ground, common sense. of work, and it may give negotiators a place to begin in building the debt package and perhaps with an accord with that momentum to put together the entire package that they want to drive through to raise the debt ceiling. it really presents a once in a
9:23am
generation opportunity to get this thing done. it has been 60 years since we had the last major overhaul. president obama promised to do it in the last stated the union address. divided government is a time to get issues to agree. both sides understand that government is not working as well as it could. we have had a series of breakdowns from hurricane katrina all the way to the christmas day bombing, food safety, and someone and so forth. rick schmitt was just talking about this from the center for public integrity, one of several good groups, like the project on government oversight that look at these issues. this is a bipartisan issue and it is not very sexy, which could be an advantage right now. host: paul light is a public service professor at new york university and the author of,
9:24am
"creating high-performance government, a once in a generation opportunity." wagner.nyu.edu if you want to take a look at that during our discussion. in the executive summary he writes, -- if you like to get involved in the discussion of creating a high performance government, give us a call. the numbers are on your screen.
9:25am
we have a special line for federal employees if you want to tell us about your thoughts regarding creating a high- performance government. give us a call. federal employees -- our first call for paul light comes from alameda, california. you are on "washington journal." joseph? caller: i was just listening to your program and it turns out i am the first one to be able to call you, but you mentioned hurricane katrina being a problem. what confuses the devil out of me about katrina was that it started out first as a forecast
9:26am
for a category 5 hurricane. before it approached new orleans, it went down to a category three. the problem that warrants had was not a hurricane problem -- the problem that new orleans had was the problem of a previously built a levee that was built a 30-40 years ago. it was made a political problem by, if nothing else, by the newspapers and television programs. host: go ahead, paul. guest: the storm surge is what caused the problem and it was driven by the category 5, category 4 hurricane. it was the storm that raise the water levels that eventually caused the breach in the levee
9:27am
in ward 9 where the damage was greatest. the failures there were multiple and involve state government, local government, the lack of federal court in asian and anticipation. it was a very serious breakdown across the board. the department of homeland security has gotten better. congress did elevate the federal emergency management agency back in the federal hierarchy so that it relates directly to the president, but it was a massive breakdown. we have seen a lot of other breakdowns over the years. i think the breakdowns have been accelerating because the bureaucratic sclerosis, if you will, has increased with every increasing year. rick mentioned the fact about the atf administrator will not be subject to senate confirmation. that is not necessarily a good thing. they take five or six months on
9:28am
average to confirm obama appointees which is what they did for the bush appointees. it is a terrible process. they try to fix this in baby steps, but government is not well positioned right now to do its job well. i think many federal workers really put in a lot of energy to make the federal government work, but it is often and in spite of the barriers they face. luckily, for the debt negotiators, removing those barriers will actually save a big chunk of money. maybe $1 trillion or more, which is a big down payment on the debt reduction. host: we will talk about some of those barriers. you mentioned three barriers to high-performance government. the first one is accountability. you say --
9:29am
not only is the federal government's program and gender or riddled with overlap, but it remains encumbered by structures that diffuse accountability and confuse the chain of command. how do you go about overcoming that particular barrier? guest: you have to reduce the number of management layers between the top and bottom of government so that the president can see who is actually making the decisions not to do oil rig inspections, not to go to the food-processing plants that may produce tainted food of one kind or another, not to do the inspections to make sure minimum wage requirements are met, not to do due diligence to make sure that the d.a. takes care of wounded warriors.
9:30am
we have to flat in the hierarchy and reduce the overlap of these programs. there are dozens and dozens of programs that are created in different agencies by congress to accomplish the same goals. education, mentoring, job training. this is a mess. for the average citizen who needs help from the government, it is nearly impossible to figure out who to go to. then it is nearly impossible for the president to determine who made the mistake or who is doing a good job and sanction or reward them appropriately. accountability has been shredded in the government. we cannot tell him makes the decision, where the information's is getting stuck, and who is responsible for are actually performing the job well, and therefore you cannot well, and therefore you cannot reward or section appropriately. we have to do something about that. it starts with reducing the layers of management including the layers created by the 3000
9:31am
or so political appointees who served with senate confirmation or out the will of the president. they make a mess of things. they come and go. the average tenure is 89 and 24 months. the secretary of the treasury, timothy geithner, is on his way out. but right now we will have an interruption in the flow of information in policy at the moment where we desperately need strong leadership. but now we will have a vacancy and it will take us time to find a new treasury secretary and get that person in place. it could not be worse at this particular point. host: we are talking with paul light from new york university on the report, "creating high- performance government," the report by professor light and the wagner school.
9:32am
a call from the federal employee line. caller: i have read paul light for years. the point he just brought up is the most poignant to me. we have political employees, my state director, who is politically appointed. when we look for change from president obama in the election, it was the congressional staff that went ahead and reappointed what we call clinton retreads, the same directors we had under clinton. but that may be good, but in my case it was not helpful. i keep hearing about the duplication of programs and how to eliminate them. each administration talks about getting rid of the waste and duplication, yet is the responsibility of congress. congress likes that power. they use that power regularly by pointing -- appointing their
9:33am
friends as state directors. the first day director i worked for had never heard of the agency when he was appointed. that is just one example. many of the employees work with their very professional, very well-educated. the government has given me many opportunities for improvement and education throughout my career. it really has been quite helpful. anytime i want to get something done, i fight a political appointee, who for his own reasons does or does not want things to happen. host: paul light? guest: president obama had it the joked in his state of the union address about salmon. he said they are regulated by two departments, but they are regulated by more than that. maybe 6-12 different agencies have a role in that. every salmon starts its swim to
9:34am
regulation on capitol hill. most of the duplication and overlap is caused by congressional desires for credit-climbing. congressional action to create separate programs that can be named for an outgoing member or help the home district. we will have to start out there with a package of pain like we had with the closing of the military bases where we can start to consolidate. on the whole appointee issue, it is just an outrage. is just an outrage. many of these politicians are rewarded for campaign service and you have to find jobs for them. many of them are well qualified, but some are not. we drive them down into the executive branch. the president tends to believe that more liters equal better leadership, and that is not true. -- more leadersr mean better
9:35am
leadership. there are some who have the capacity and knowledge to run these programs and have been there long enough to know the programs well. it is demoralizing to the civil service and it hurts our recruitment and retention. it refuses knowledge, creates barriers, and it does not work very well. to my friend in the service, we have too many layers of management that are occupied by senior executives as well as political appointees. we have to reduce them and set a target. host: from sumter, south carolina, on our line from independents. you are on with paul light. caller: thank you for taking my call. sorry. i am nervous. i have been listening to "washington journal" for ever
9:36am
and this is the first time i have ever been through. i am so glad for this topic this morning. it is something i have been thinking about for quite awhile. i am a former employee of the state of south carolina in the finance division of a state agency. the thing that i have been thinking about is to go ahead and raise the debt ceiling and do what has to be done there. raise it for one year, maybe two. in the interim, get teams of auditors to go to every state agency and audit every division, every department, every program and see where the problems are, even whether a program is still
9:37am
viable. see where the overlap are -- overlaps are, and i am sure there will be savings. we can get former auditors to volunteer, perhaps, to give their time to the country that we love. host: we will leave it there. paul light? guest: it is a good idea. we need more focus, but i do not think we have a couple of years to do it. we need to attack this now while we have this opportunity. there is a lot of money to be saved by attacking the duplication and overlap. congress will just have to swallow the changes. we need to do it quickly. it will not happen one area at a time. we need to have a big package of reforms that congress cannot resist, and we need to develop this and jam it through as part of an even bigger package of major reforms. again, as i said, there is big
9:38am
money here. we could get some momentum on debt reduction. debt reduction. we could do this by creating a quasi-independent group like the one that liquidated all those bad savings and loan banks back in the early 1990's to drive this through, get this done, get the president and these corporations no more than one year to meet the target. i am telling you that we will be able to drive down the national debt by $1 trillion or more. that is a big piece of change that would give us the momentum to do other things that need to be done on taxes and spending. host: another of the three barriers to the challenges of our performance government is what you call the challenge of effectiveness. you save it is but ineffective and inefficient and foster's mistrust in the willingness to do its job well, particular in a
9:39am
time of huge deficits, rising expenditures, while the private sector continues to seek excellence in efficiency and innovation. tell us about that, paul. guest: i think there is what we may call another dependence on contractors to deliver the federal government's responsibilities. i estimate, and this is just an estimate from my friends in the contract in community who will not give up real, hard information on how many people they employ, but we probably have 7.5 million contract employees of the federal government. we have done that, in some small way, to hide the true size of the federal government. we have to cut down at work force. many more bodies on the front lines of government where the goods and services get delivered, and we needed to get rid of some of the jobs in the middle and upper levels that get
9:40am
in the way. that is not to say that the middle and upper level employees cannot do important work, but we have to reshape this work force which includes contractors so we can get greater efficiency and productivity. what is remarkable to me as we stopped measuring federal productivity in 1994. we just stopped measuring it. when it knew to gingrich arrived -- when newt arrived, they said we should not measure it anymore. which business does not measure their profitability? there was a new legislation offered by senator mark warner and other reform-minded senators to start measuring the top priorities of government and hold agencies accountable for doing that work. we have to reshape the work force. some people are going to have to go. we are going to have to hire
9:41am
some people on the carmines to do the jobs that americans want -- on the front lines to do the jobs that americans wanted done. we have to make investments in new technology. we have a lot to do. this duplication problem penetrates the informations systems. we have all this on cesses -- unnecessary property using office space. we do not use them. we have to rattle through -- riddle through the bureaucratic sentiment clogging river and making the job nearly impossible. it is not the federal employees do not care. there are some who need to government -- need to go. we are not being effective in the disciplinary progress as we need to be. it needs to be done quickly. host: back to the phones.
9:42am
ohio on the line for democrats. you are on "washington journal." you are on "washington journal." caller: the duplication where we have the fbi, the cia, the army, the navy, and then we have the newer one that is in control of all of them. no one in the any of those groups anything about -- knew anything about law enforcement yet they gather all of the intelligence. when mr. rumsfeld said on 9.10
9:43am
that they were missing $2 trillion from the government budget, no one has ever said anything about what happened to that money. guest: that is one issue that is part of the efficiency challenge. near as we can calculate, we have a $50-$60 billion per year, maybe even $100 billion in improper payments. these are payments that should not have been made. we have a huge amount of non- collected tax debt, loans and fees, that should have been paid that were not. and we have delinquent taxes that have not been collected. but those numbers together. that is maybe $700 billion that is out there owed that we have not collected.
9:44am
first of all, we have to identify that. the caller from south carolina says to audit everything. well, we do not have enough investigators because we have been cutting and cutting in the offices of the inspector general. we do not have enough bodies to do the collecting of money that is already out there that is owed to the federal government. it is unbelievable the amount of money owed to the federal government is equal to or greater than the amount of money that senator lieberman and senator coburn were talking about in terms of medicare cuts. $700 billionr that that we are owed. it is collectible. we will all have to get used to the notion of having more revenue agents at the irs. it is not an attractive issue to be the president or congress to
9:45am
be responsible for that. you have to hire more collectors. that is a plain fact of it. if we created something like a if we created something like a government reform trust , maybe we could hire enough people to get this money. we are wasting a huge amount of money and there is a lot of money lost inside the federal government that is still going on. on. host: paul light is the professor of public service in the wagner school and the investigator of the organizational performance initiative and is our guest for the next 50 minutes. on the line for independents, go ahead. caller: i wanted to correct one
9:46am
thing you said earlier. fema has not been restored to their former cabinet-level status. they are still a part of the department of homeland security. the main difference of fema today, to go back to your idea of good government and high- performance government, what obama has done instead of appointing cronies like bush did, he went out and got the emergency management director for the state of florida. for the state of florida. he has a good respective -- perspective of what it is like to work with fema and now he is the head of it. that is the difference. good government is putting people in position to are competent and nknow when they ae doing.
9:47am
that got passed off to the first bush who just kind of let it flounder until 1992 when we had hurricane andrew. then there realized we are actually needed it. then you had clinton who also took it seriously. he appointed someone who made a professional organization. then bush 2 came in and was opposed to the idea of fema and appointed his cronies and then we actually need it again. host: we will leave it there. paul light. guest: the quality of appointments really matters. the clinton appointee was a blessing. you can make an agency work well. what did he do? he flattened the hierarchy and put career people in as the
9:48am
regional directors. he fought hard for staff. he was still understaffed. at the veterans health administration, they made a big turnaround. the legislative affairs unit, public affairs units of departments and agencies, they are there only because they did something for the president during the campaign and needed a job. we have to reduce the number and put more career experts in charge of these agencies. we have to reduce the layers of these positions so that state directors, regional directors can go directly to the higher levels of their departmental agency to put in information and give their advice.
9:49am
that is a big problem in intelligence were the director of national intelligence really has no authority to compel any of the 11 agencies that report to him to cough up the information in a timely fashion. host: the third barrier you write about is productivity. under the productivity challenge you say scarce or misaligned resources and underperforming stock within the federal government have led to a federal work force that is inconsistent, at best. a highly productive enderle workforce is critical to our performance. -- a highly productive work force is critical. guest: i go to the federal employees and listen to what they say and so does the office of personnel management. they tell us that promotions and pay are not based on merit but based, apparently, on favoritism or are randomly
9:50am
given. they tell us poor performers are not disciplined. they cannot get rid of them. we have to improve personnel. federal employees and tell us that the process does not work and it was invented for the workforce that was on the job in the 1950's. the last time we did a major top to bottom personnel reform was 67 years ago. we did have the federal civil service reform act and created a senior executive core of what should have been, could have been highly mobile, highly trained senior executives. it did not turn out that way. we have a lot of work to make this personnel process much more fair and effective. on the performance, the majority of federal employees at the higher level are now rated as an outstanding or exceeding expectations.
9:51am
this is worse than at lake woebegone. there is nothing you can do want to have these rating systems and to really distinguish between the high performers, mediocre performers, and the performer who passed to get out, past the disciplined, and let go. -- has to be disciplined and let go. host: in this morning's "the baltimore sun," there is an article about privatization. gov. mitch daniels says despite the problems they encountered with privatization efforts, it has reinforced his support for it. your thoughts about privatization? guest: mitch daniels has always been a big believer in
9:52am
privatization and outsourcing. he said we should use the lawn mower rules. if you can find something in the yellow pages being done by a private contractor, give it to them. a private job is better every time down a federal job. if you have to have it done, given to the private sector. the performance has been uneven at best. many states have found that privatization of prisons, privatization of certain state and local functions have ended up costing more, causing more on reliability. privatization has to be done carefully. it is not like throwing a dart with your eyes closed. you have to be very thoughtful about it. it is not the answer to all that ails us. it is appropriate in some cases, but you have to have very tight oversight of it. you know what? the savings from privatization are meager. we have to go into this with open eyes. if we are doing important --
9:53am
doing this just to hide a federal job for a contractor, that is not a way to create accountability. host: the next call for paul light from james in georgia. caller: good morning, mr. light. we have a situation in the government where we are not dealing with the facto immunity. the treasury department is virtually untouchable. the atf and irs. you cannot touch of those people even when they are flagrantly denying civil rights. i would like you to discuss that issue. guest: as i said at the top of this conversation, this is a particularly good time to take on those issues.
9:54am
this is a moment where we can bundle a set of reforms that effect every agency and department, including the treasury, the irs, the sacred cow of the fence where we have weapons systems that should have been canceled -- that the sacred cow of defense. we have a real opportunity to put together a package. this has to be done as a package, an up or down, all or nothing kind of issue. it is not very exciting, as i said, and you could get it done particularly given the need for a restart or momentum in solving this debt ceiling problem. i think this is a good time to do it and you could get things done on those untouchable agencies in the put them in the package. i think that is the next step here. i understand exactly what you are saying. host: springfield, mass., on the
9:55am
line for independents. caller: what about ethics? what about people going to jail when they break the law? when you are in government and you can do insider-trading, but the people on wall street cannot? it is basically government and private corporations getting together. what you think the patriot act is? does that not privatize security? we pay thousands and thousands of dollars to contractors, but we cannot even help our own soldiers. this is corruption, sir. when you cannot get a lot to be fair and the supreme court will not even a role for the public, this is a form of control. host: gabriel from springfield, massachusetts. guest: we used to talk about the military industrial process, and now we have at the banking industrial complex that affects
9:56am
the government through appointments and congress to campaign contributions. the supreme court invalidated and is in the process of invalidating all campaign finance controls. we have a lot of work to do here to restore a sense of accountability. i refer to this as the accountability challenge to our federal process. the approval in congress could not go slower. the approval of the government among young people as at the very, very bottom. we have a lot of work to restore public confidence of those people held accountable. i am waiting for the day when someone steps forward and says, "i made a mistake and i am going to resign." we do not have that tradition and in the federal, state, or local level. we have to drive them out, pushing them out. it would be nice to have some integrity at the top of the
9:57am
leadership in washington. members who would actually say it made a mistake. instead you see them clinging to their jobs by their fingernails. it is the wrong way to operate. host: accountability is on the list of practical reforms for achieving high performance government in your report. also listed among those practical reforms are -- efficiency, productivity, and implementation. we are running out of time, but if people want to read more about that, they can go to the website wagner.nyu.edu. georgia on our line for republicans, you are on "washington journal." caller: i heard on cnbc the day after tarp that they voted on $750 billion when they voted, and the next day it was $850
9:58am
billion. one lady said she wanted to know where the extra $150 billion went and they did research and it went to bush. what does he need that money for? how come we did not hear about it? we have never heard about it. and it is more than accountability. these people are stealing, flat out. guest: there is some really good information and you should troll the web on the number of stimulus recipients who did not pay taxes owed. some of the money has been wasted. some of the money was lost. i do not think george w. bush got one dollar-- $100 billion in stimulus spending. we do not yet know, and i am not sure we will, how many jobs were created by the stimulus. no one talks about it in washington any more.
9:59am
for six months out, there were reports it created this many jobs, that many jobs. we just do not know. some recipients did not pay taxes and others have not repaid their debt. that is just the tip of the iceberg, and i tend to agree with the caller. i just do not believe that george w. bush got $100 billion. host: the last call from new orleans, louisiana, on the line for democrats. caller: i have been listening to your show, mr. light, and i want to thank you for talking about accountability. i have heard several untruths. everyone is blaming various groups and organizations about what happened with hurricane katrina and the levees. this is a lie. this is a lie.